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Course: Touch-typing
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Next available session:

Avail.:always registering
Admits:members only
Cost:vol $0, pm $60, Bm $75, supplies included
Where:TFN office
When:Sunday afternoons 12:30 pm - 2 pm
Length:15 days (22.5 hrs), starts continuously

Format:supervised lab
Extra help:N/A




Because this course has no lecture component, it isn't offered in discrete sessions.  Instead, the course accepts new students continuously and each student begins the course on a week of her or his choice.  Thus, at any given class meeting, there can be students who have just begun the course, students who are about to complete it, and students in-between.  In class, each student receives individual instruction, suited to her or his level at that time.

Since instruction is personalized, the course can accommodate student absences, within limits:

  • You may miss (and use later) up to 6 regularly scheduled class meetings, starting with the day on which you were initially scheduled to begin the course.
  • You must notify the instructor at least 24 hours in advance of the class meeting which you intend to miss.  If you don't, that day counts as part of your total consumed.
  • TFN classes break for certain parts of the year; those periods don't count against your total consumed.


Iain Calder studied touch-typing under the tutelage of a professional typist, when typing was considered the work of specialists.  He is an expert typist and occasional teacher of the art.  As a hobby, he writes programs that teach touch-typing.


Learn to type in English on a standard QWERTY keyboard (if you would rather learn DVORAK, tell the office — special arrangements can be made).

The concept is simple but mastering the art is not easy — accurate and speedy typing requires much practice.  However, getting to a useful level is not as hard as some people think.  Learning the first 7 keys of the keyboard takes longest.  Once you are able to use them without thinking, mastering additional keys becomes easier.

Instruction is personalized.  You progress at your own pace, hopefully learning the entire keyboard over the length of the course.  If it takes you longer, you can enroll for the course again, to keep going.

In each class, the next few keys or concepts are introduced, then you exercise using TFN's software.  Almost all time is devoted to typing practice.  The instructor checks your typing from time to time, to spot and point-out errors, before they become habits.


To be able to type English words, numbers, and punctuation, without looking at the keyboard, faster than you were able to type before.

Unless you practise (a lot) outside of class you are unlikely to become a good typist within this course's allotted time.  You will, however, become sufficiently good to enjoy using the skill.  After the course's completion, you will tend to continue touch-typing, so you will improve further on your own.


Practicing for fifteen minutes a day makes a big difference — you will be much further ahead by the end of the course.  However, it is not required.

Supplies & equipment:

  • The course relies entirely on TFN equipment.


  • home-row 7 keys.
  • home-row middle keys.
  • 8 keys above the home-row.
  • capitals.
  • top row middle keys.
  • keys below the home-row.
  • punctuation.
  • bottom row middle keys.
  • numbers.
  • other symbols.

About touch-typing:

Touch-typing is the practice of typing on a keyboard without looking, by having internalized the locations of all the keys.

Once the skill is mastered, you no longer need to think about where a key is located on the keyboard nor spend time finding it.  Your conscious thoughts can be devoted entirely to what you want to express.  The movement of your fingers is controlled subconsciously.

You can type even when the keyboard cannot be seen.  For example, at night with the lights off, or when the keyboard is under the desk, to free up desk space, or when the keyboard is on your lap, under a blanket.

Once you perfect the ability and eliminate typing errors, you can also type without looking at the monitor, with your eyes closed if you are tired, or with the text hidden from view for privacy.

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